Creative Latitude
 

Designers who Blog: Illustrators who blog
After a skip of January, we are back for February with Illustration blogs. A special thanks goes out to all who have agreed to join in (I'm always running late, giving precious little time).

How it works: Each month Cat pics a handful of blogs from 'Designers who Blog'. As a twist (instead of letting Cat yammer on), after a brief introduction she will step back to let the featured Bloggers share their personal fancies. The blogs are in no certain order below.

'Designers who blog' has been listed in HOW's top ten sites to see on the internet, as well as in the IF - Top Ten Design Blogs for 2005.

If you have fancies of your own, please send Cat your fancies and Cat'll present them in the next issue. Or not.

Check out the Cat's fancy index for past fancies.

Today's Inspiration by Leif Peng

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Today's Inspiration

 

Leif speaks:

Every day those of us who work in the graphic arts pour a bit of our souls onto the page through our efforts to express ideas creatively. Perhaps the act of doing should be reward enough but I believe at least part of the reason we do this is so that we will be remembered. We hope we will have a lasting impact on the lives of others. We hope we will provide inspiration for those who will follow us.

Unfortunately, not only will the general public never know who we were, but even within the field of our choice, where we will have spent decades toiling and refining our craft, our names and our work will be forgotten by the next generation of graphic artists. Art schools are like orphanages, turning out waves of freshly minted illustrators, designers and art directors with no knowledge of where they fit into the continuum of their craft. With almost no resources to turn to, they must reinvent the wheel over and over again. This situation is what I hope to rectify in my own small way with my blog.

Today's Inspiration began life as a daily scan of an old illustration emailed to a group of mailing list subscribers - and continues as such to this day. Next came the blog, which is only about four months old, and even more recent is my archive of classic illustrations on Flickr which I hope will become a great reference source for anyone interested in 50's illustration. The blog gives me the opportunity to write a bit about the art and artists I showcase, and to interact with others who share my passion.

It’s obvious that you put a lot of detail into your posts on Today’s Inspiration. How much research time do you generally give to each one?

Actually, very little. Perhaps fifteen minutes a day.

I am amazed at the various illustrators you’ve discovered, and all the contacts you’ve gained from your passion with Illustrators of this time period. Where do you find the majority of the information, and the actual illustrations? Also, since so much time has elapsed, are they getting more difficult to come across?

The best source of biographical info is a wonderful book by Walter Reed called "Illustrator in America". Next to that is the "Who's Who in American Art" and beyond that I've been very lucky to find quite a bit of info on the internet. Always exciting is to discover that some of the artists I'm researching are still with us and have their own websites. Making contact with the artists ( or in some cases their family members ) is a real thrill - and they are always very pleased to hear that there are folks out here who remember their earlier work and still care about it.

As well, several people who regularly read Today's Inspiration or who are on the TI mailing list have shared information in their areas of expertise.

The images, which came at first from my inherited swipe file are increasingly scanned from an ever-growing collection of magazines, record albums and books purchased on ebay, flea markets, junk shops and used bookstores.

Now you have a blog, have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate? Do you find yourself having to push away from your blog at times?

Absolutely. The blog is a real pleasure and satisfies not only my personal interest in classic illustration but my long-surpressed desire to write. Its sometimes hard to focus on my own work because so much of my thinking time is spent contemplating what I have planned next for the blog.

You have a loyal following commenting on various aspects on your blog. Some with more information to help you in your searches, some with questions. Have you figured out why some posts are more popular than others? And what suggestions could you give to those who interested in gaining more participation on their own blogs?

I have not been able to crack that nut as yet. My site meter tells me that I have a very consistent day to day readership ( it almost never waivers except when Today's Inspiration gets a mention somewhere like DWB or Drawn! ) and I wish more people would participate with comments, but I suspect that many people are simply shy about commenting, because I get a lot of response as private email instead of as public comments.. Interestingly, I've found the Flickr community, which I think draws from a more diverse demographic, to be more communicative.

One thing though is that the overwhelmingly positive response I do get is truly rewarding.

After dipping into your blog I can't help but to think it would make an excellent book. Have you considered putting talking to a publisher?

I like to dream about it but I don't feel at all qualified. Today's Inspiration is my daily education for me in the history of my craft. That so many people have chosen to join me in learning is wonderful, but I'd do it just for myself anyway.

If you could pick a range of Illustrators you've featured in the past year, who would they be and why?

It's easier to answer the why than the who... I try to look at as diverse a range of illustrators as possible in any given year so that everyone gets to see something that interests them. I would break illustration down into two large schools of thought: realism and stylization ( wherein I'd include the "cartoony" styles ). I try to showcase as many artists as possible from both schools and hope some "cross-pollenation" is going on for my readers.

Jay and John

Drawn! by John Martz, Patricia Storms, Matt Forsythe, Jay Stephens, Claire Robertson, Jared Chapman and Ward Jenkins

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Drawn

 

John speaks:

Drawn has turned into quite a successful undertaking. Was Drawn your first entry into blogging, or did you experiment before taking the leap?

No, it wasn't my first foray into blogging. I've kept a personal blog at RobotJohnny.com for a few years now, which actually, I think, has suffered as a result of the time I devote to Drawn!. I also briefly kept an online movie journal on which I would post reviews of every movie I saw, which quickly became more work than I could handle, and stopped being fun.

What methods do you use to discover new and interesting Illustrators to feature? I realize there are many avenues to pull from, so what are your favourites?

First off, there is a contact form on the site with which visitors can suggest links to be featured, whether they be their own portfolio sites, or just favourites. A good chunk of the featured work on Drawn! comes directly from the readers themselves. But I also check my Bloglines account every day, which I have loaded up with all sorts of related blogs and news sources.

Finally, I also keep a del.icio.us account where I store links. It's sort of like a big shoebox full of potential features that I access on days when I just need something to post, but I don't know quite what.

But that's just me... the site also has several other contributors, and they all have their own methods of finding things to write about. I think the main difference is that everyone else writes on Drawn! when inspiration hits them or they stumble across something interesting, but I make an effort to look for and post several things a day. I've sort of set a quota for myself.

Now you have a blog, have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate?

Both Drawn! and my personal blog have definitely changed the way I view the Internet, and the way I view pop culture and the world around me. We're constantly bombarded by visual media every day, and more than simply absorbing it, I often find myself asking, "Is this something I can write about? How can I use this?"

What has the response from the public and other illustrators been?

It's been staggeringly positive. And almost immediately so. Within days of launching and with little to no publicity, the site became quite popular, and traffic has been increasing ever since. And I believe we're popular with both illustrators and non-illustrators alike. Even those who don't create artwork themselves enjoy looking at and learning about other artists. And for those that are creators, I think the site acts as a little jolt of inspiration. At least I know it does for me -- since starting the site I've already changed the way I look at and create my own artwork.

The reaction from other illustrators, in particular, has been extremely rewarding.  Many of the creative people we feature are often already readers of the site, and some that aren't become readers.  It really helps breed a feeling of community -- and helps us know that we're doing something right.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators, or those planning on creating a blogging group such as Drawn!?

I guess the same advice I'd give any artist -- keep drawing. Or rather, keep posting. The more you do something, the better you are at it.

If you could pick five only Illustrators you've featured in the past year, who would they be?

Ooh, that's not fair... How about ten? I know, it's cheating, but we've featured so many great artists.

Souther Salazar www.southersalazar.net
Leo Espinosa www.studioespinosa.com
Sam Weber www.sampaints.com
Schizoid Brain www.schizoidbrain.free.fr
Gordon Wiebe www.gordonwiebe.com
VanBeater www.vanbeater.com
Jillian Tamaki www.jilliantamaki.com
Femtasia www.femtasia.nl
Vera Brosgol www.verabee.com
Guillaume Decaux www.alcide.fr

Tom Judd

TomJudd - by Tom Judd

TomJudd

 

Tom speaks:

Now that you are heavy into your blog, is there anything you would have done differently?

In terms of content I am happy with my blog at present. Last year my EVERYDAY project served as a place where I could scribble down some of my feeling and creative ideas, with that finishing on November 05 I found my self slightly lost. So I started my creative journal, which is primarily for myself to keep track of ideas and my creative development. At the end of the day I will be nice to look back in a year or two and see how my brain was chugging along in 2006. Technically I intend to add feeds so that blog is more available to readers.

Destroying your own art is an odd choice (not complaining as you've staged a brilliant campaign). What were the other options you came up with, and why did you narrow it down to this one?

Primarily I intended to incorporate any advertising into the page itself, drawing the adverts in my own style and merging them into the page. But I soon realized that this idea did nothing to invoke human interest. It just seemed like a scheme set up by a poor student to make a little bit of extra cash. This is then that I decided to change the entire premiss of the project, rather than Advertising within Art I chose to set up a project where Advertising was competing against Art. This Idea sets up an interesting situation, where by an increase in popularity will have a detrimental effect on my Art. In one sense I want as many people as possible to look at my creations yet I also want my art to remain unharmed and in its natural state. It's a kind of catch 22. Hopefully it should create some enjoyable results over the coming year.

Now you've been illustrating for your blog as well as blogging, have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate?

Personally I find it much more inviting if a paragraph of text is backed up by an image of some sort. With my journal I use the "Sribs", as I call them, to convey my creative state of mined. They also allow me to put up any scribbles or photos that I think I should be sharing with the reader.

The response seems quite grand. How do you feel the response to your blog has been?

It is always nice to know that people enjoy what you do, whatever it may be. I am not really aware of how popular my blog has become. I know that my mum reads it every now and then. As long as she enjoys it and I have something to look back on I am happy.

What advice do you give blogging illustrators?

Don't try too hard. I think that as soon as you try and "blog to please" the whole thing loses a certain human touch. I just write exactly what I am thinking and don't try to spruce it up too much once its down on the page.

Process Junkie - by Lucio Alberto Ruiz-Diaz

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Process Junkie

 

Alberto speaks:

I notice you travel around to a number of industry related events during the year. As I'm largely unfamiliar with these types of exhibitions (and am quite nosy), how do they work, has it helped your business, and to what degree?

These shows are comic book conventions, better known as: "Comicons", there are no conventions for figure drawing so this is the closest thing to it. A 'comicon' is where comic book publishers launch their new titles and promote ongoing series and license properties, where animation and live action studios, game companies and toy companies showcase their latest offerings and comic book artists sign and draw for the fans, promoting themselves and the books they're working on. 

The origin of my involvement with these events is purely coincidental as I am not a comic book artist nor a hardcore fan of the medium. After a lifetime of working as a freelance graphic designer/illustrator I took some time off to go back to basics, that is figure drawing, of the female persuasion; back in 2001 I joined a popular internet message board called: "The Drawing Board", where artists (mostly comic book and animation amateurs and professionals) posted their drawings for fun or looking for helpful critique or praise, or all of the above. 

After a year and a half of drawing for fun while continuing to earn a living as a graphic designer, I had developed a bit of a following among the various artists message boards, a few people suggested to put a book of my doodles together, which I did in 2003 and brought with me to the mother of all comics conventions: "The San Diego ComiCon"; the book was an instant and unexpected success at the show, both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. That very same year I quit my "day job" and never looked back.

How did you settle on the name Process Junkie?

I write step-by-step articles on digital illustration for Draw! Magazine, a no brainer.

Now that you've been blogging for quite awhile, have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate?

I've been involved in a few internet forums, the transition to blogging has been a smooth one. I'm still pretty much chained to my computer, so much so in fact, that I have attached a swivel, vertical drawing board to my computer desk, right next to my monitor.

From the responses on your blog I can see you have quite the loyal following. What has the response from other Illustrators been?

Envy, hatred and petty jealousy, what else?...Just kidding! Actually they are the ones who keep me in business, I don't have a mass-market type of product, 99% of my buyers are fellow artists and designers, which is pretty rewarding in itself.

What advice do you give to Illustrators contemplating blogging?

The big issue is content and the future of the internet is free content, the trick is to turn the free content you offer into something beneficial for you, such as self promotion, or the advertising of your own projects, products and/or services, if you have something to say and a natural predisposition to communicate, by all means, start blogging now! A blog can become an effective and fairly inexpensive method to reach your targeted audience, an invaluable asset to network and to showcase your talents and skills. If you don't feel confident in updating your blog at least once every two weeks, don't bother starting one.

Do you have any favourite blogging Illustrators?

Oscar Grillo and Oscar Grillo's Grillomation

bigcatheads by Bruce McKay

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Bigcatheads

Bruce speaks:

How did you get started into blogging? After deciding it was what you wanted to do, did you have friends help you out, or did you depend on the now 'ole faithful, google to lead you though?

I've been painting the Bigcatheads for years and using the usual tools for self promotion - small ads, postcards, mailers. You'd just cross your fingers that anyone would take the time to notice. I'd been reading various blogs for quite some time but I was unaware that the art community was so into blogging. Once I discovered one blog, I'd look through their links to find more. It just seemed a natural format for promotion. I didn't have help from anyone with my site or blog. I more the type to just get in there and start messing around and the interfaces are all pretty idiot proof these days as long as you don't get don't get over your head with the HTML.

I’ll have to say that when your email come across my eyes, it was great fun to get a look into your work. They are amazingly simple, and your cats never seem to change expression (except for a lifting of one lip or another) yet anyone who’s a cat lover will recognise each mood and will most likely hoot loudly. So my question is this, you are clearly a cat lover, so when did you first decide to concentrate on painting cats? Was it progressive, or did it just happened?

I did one painting of a big cat head over twenty years ago and eventually it found it's way onto a wall at my office. I was Sr. VP. Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Canada at the time. Anyone who's worked in an agency creative department knows how long and challenging the days can be. I just kept staring at that painting thinking that I would eventually make the break to fine art. Five years ago I made the break. My training in advertising taught me many things about brand building and connecting emotionally to people. That's where the BAM handle came from and also the fact that I stay focused on the cats (cat people are very passionate and love to buy cat themed objects. I do paint other things and even other styles but none are as distinctive or memorable as the Bigcatheads and when it comes to building a brand nothing is more important than distinctive and memorable. I actually started off as a photorealistic wildlife painter when I got out of art school but the level of detail drove me insane. Over the years I've evolved a much simpler, more iconic type of style that is quite unique.

Like Process Recess, you are using your blog partly to sell what you do, as well as get connected with others. As a designer who works out of a home office, I do sympathise so have also taken the cat and blogging route. I realise your blog is a new venture (several months old) so it’s difficult to answer in a way, but how much contact have you had through your blog compared with your site?. Also, are the contacts coming via your blog of a different nature than your site?

I couldn't be happier about blogging right now. For me it solves a myriad of problems. The life of a fine artist can be a lonely one. Sitting alone in a studio all day is so insulating you miss the input of others. Blogging solves that. I've begun a very simple painting in the morning, finished by lunch, shoot it, post it and get feedback from folks around the world by end of day, how cool is that. I also used to take at least one day a week to go look through real brick and mortar art galleries, now I do it in my spare time on the net.

The difference between my web site and my blog are interesting. The blog is only a few months old so the data is just building but I get much more traffic at my blog than I do at my website. I do look at the two as doing different things. The site is like a storefront gallery - cool, semi serious, professional, while the blog is the party going on in the back. Websites feel like a monolog where a blog is a dialog, much more personable. That's not to say there isn't a place for websites now, I see it as the blog being the salesman for the gallery. I get two groups coming to my blog. Art people and cat people. Depending who I'm linking to I can adjust the ratio of the mix. The blog also allows me to pass on interesting back stories to my collectors. People buy art for many reasons but one is the ability to have guests over and tell them stories about the art they just bought. It adds meaning and interest and creates an emotional connection to the painting.

For me, keeping up with a blog tends to change the rhythm of the day. Have you also noticed a change in how you work and communicate? Do you find yourself having to limit the time you give to your blog?

Good question. The rhythm of my day did change when I started blogging. I used to take breaks to stretch or have a smoke but now I can quickly jump on the blog for a post or check back on my visitors while I'm waiting for a section to dry. What I do need to limit is the amount of time I spend on other blogs, it can eat up the whole day if I'm not careful. I'm based in Toronto and my publisher is in Birmingham England so it make it easier to stay in contact with them as well. Every few week's I'll post my new paintings and they will place their order or fight it out with other galleries to get hold of a certain piece.

What suggestions could you give to those who interested in starting up their own blogs?

Go for it. It's free and easy. Even when I first began and knew I didn't have any visitors it was useful to me simply to write posts. The process of writing a post that has an idea to it forces you to think the idea through to its conclusion. Then that one full idea leads to the next and so on.

Can you share some of your favourite illustrators who are also blogging?

My illustrator bookmarks are endless and it's hard to pick a few but I love the range of styles of Oscar Grillo also Brad Fitzpatrick for more digital stuff. I know many fine artists with websites but I don't know any with a blog (at least any with a blog that they post to more that once a month).

Process Recess by James Jean

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Process Recess

James speaks:

Process Recess has been created as an outlet for selling your art. For those of us who would most likely not get the chance to acquire work from our favourite illustrators, it seems the perfect solution. Has it been an interesting challenge, and would you advise others to do the same?

Turning Process Recess from a store into a blog seemed like a natural solution to the rapidly evolving internet. The blog provides a richer experience and 'back-story' to the work that comes up for sale. My collectors are interested in the illustration process, and the blog functions to introduce these sketches and drawings in a new, more informative context while allowing them to buy the work at the same time. Inventory items like prints, posters, and books are almost like an afterthought -- I don't like to be pushy -- but it's almost like providing a way for visitors of the blog to have a momento of their experience while reading about my thoughts and struggles. It would very cool to see more artists do the same!

Have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate now you've been communicating via a blog?

It's therapeutic in a way, and it helps organize my thoughts. Illustrating tends to be a very lonely and solitary profession, and sometimes we are hungry for feedback. It's definitely more interactive, and I like the dialogue it provokes between viewers.

What has the response from the public and other illustrators been?

I think that blogging has been extremely popular and prevalent in the animation industry for some time now, but it's interesting to see that some of my peers in the illustration world have decided to start blogs recently as well. People seem to really enjoy the figure drawings on Process Recess - it's a something all visual artists can relate to, and it's a side of my work that's usually hidden from my professional career as an illustrator.

What advice do you give blogging illustrators?

I don't know about advice, but I would love to see more blogs from my favorite illustrators and artists!

Charley Parker

Lines and Colors - by Charley Parker

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Lines and Colours

 

Charley speaks:

You have a fabulous blog filled with talent, present and past. What have you found is the best method of finding new features?

I've been on the Web since I started my webcomic over 10 years ago and I have a bookmark file that's roughly the size of the Manhattan phone directory, so a lot of my posts feature sites I already know about. Occasionally, I'll find new things of interest through other blogs or blog aggregators. One of the best sources for new sites is from the "Links" pages of the sites I already like, which has always been one of the best ways to find good things on the Web.

How did you eventually settle on the theme for your blog?

In respect to topic, it seems like I would always be writing to people and saying "Check out this great art site!". Also, I enjoyed reading other art blogs, but none of them focused on the things I really like; most of them were a bit too narrow or missed the mark in one way or another. I found myself wishing there was a blog that covered my range of interests a little better. Eventually, it dawned on me that maybe I should just do it myself. In terms of design, I wanted a layout that would allow me to offer a good bit of supplementary information (extensive blogroll, category, and exhibition listings) without competing with the featured art. I solved that by highlighting the main post area and pushing the sidebars back, both with color and with the illusion of a raised surface for the posts. I also wanted a page heading that was shallow enough to allow a significant portion of the current post to be "above the fold". For the name I wanted something very basic that described what I was writing about. I always admired the way the title of an early XTC album summed up rock music as Drums and Wires, hence lines and colors

Have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate now that you've settled into blogging?

The practice of blogging has actually helped me acquire a more stable daily routine. I usually make one post a day, every day, and that requires some extra discipline. As a self-employed designer/illustrator/cartoonist, I'm always struggling with scheduling. When I started the blog I promised myself no "Sorry I haven't been posting lately." messages. I do too much of that with my webcomic. Of course it's different in that a lines and colors post takes me 30 or 40 minutes and an Argon Zark! page can take 10 hours or more. Communication through the blog itself is easy because it's compartmentalized. Email has gotten harder just because of increased volume.

What has the response from the public and other Illustrators been?

Overwhelmingly positive. Many illustrators, comic book artists, cartoonists, painters and other artists (and readers of all kinds) have written to say they are delighted with the blog and are surprised they hadn't encountered it before. Much to my surprise, a lot of people seem to feel that my comments about the artists and their work is one of the appealing factors. I'm also gratified that people like the particular choice of topics and the variety of artistic styles and genres that the blog features. I seem to be encountering a hoped-for cross-over, in that readers interested in one genre of art are discovering things from other genres that they might not have encountered otherwise.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators?

Focus on what you like and what you know and expand out from there if you want. Don't try to calculatedly choose topics that are "popular".

What do you feel is the future of blogs in the design world?

They're expanding on the role of many of the traditional channels of information, from the graphic design magazines and newsletters to design conferences and professional organizations. They are a way to keep up with what's happening, what's new and who's doing what. I remember when I was young and first encountered magazines like Communication Arts and how they opened up my eyes to what was out there. I think blogs will continue to add to that experience for new (and established) artists and designers.

Sugar Frosted Goodness Jeff Andrews

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Adholes

 

Jeff speaks:

Jeff, you've become quite the blogger since last year. Do you see any other blogs in your future?

That's a good question. At this point I'd be inclined to say no, but who knows? I'd already had two blogs that I was maintaining, Adventures in Blogging! and “Design” Inspiration, when the idea for SFG! (Sugar Frosted Goodness!) came along. At that time, I'd thought that was more than enough to fill the few sparce minutes I had to spare on such things. However, the beauty of SFG! is that it's practically self sufficient. I really don't have to do much of anything to the blog beyond the initial set-up. The talented members do a great job of keeping it going, posting illustrations and commenting on the work that the other members post. So I guess at this point, I don't have another blog in mind, but who knows what the future may hold?

How did you settle on the theme for your blog?

I had been perusing Illustration themed blogs and sites one night when I came across a few that were done in a similar format. The one that comes to mind first is, "Did You Just Call Me A Prick?!?!" After having stumbled across their site, I was intrigued. I knew I had quite a few friends who were super-talented illustrators (Von Glitschka, Keith Bowman, Jeope Wolfe to name a few) who I knew weren't currently involved in anything like this. Then, I'd already interviewed a whole slew of fantastic talent on “Design” Inspiration, people like Jared Chapman and Elwood Smith, new-found friends whom I kept in regular contact with, who had bucketloads of talent oozing from their very pores! Once I put it all together in my head the outcome was inevitable, SFG! was born! Since it's inception, I've invited quite a few muy talented illustrators and designers, and have been contacted via the website's contact link by others to become members.
 
The irony in that story is that, it hadn't even been two weeks since SFG! was born that I noticed a link back to us on the DYJCMAP?!?! site. For some reason I got a chuckle out of that.

Do you have a schedule you keep to when blogging? A time limit you set?

Not really, I blog when it's convenient, usually in the evenings or weekends, after work and after I've spent the required quality time with my fiancee, Michelle. I also blog as the mood strikes me, when I find items of interest or have something to share.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators?

I think the most appropriate question I would ask them is, "why not?" If you're a talented illustrator, why would you not take every advantage to get your work out there and seen in every venue you come across? You'd be a fool not to. A recent story comes to mind that illustrates my point perfectly. A friend of mine, Melissa Morris, was recently contacted by another illustrator who had read her interview on “Design” Inspiration. The illustrator was interested in hiring her to do some work for him and aide him with some other big projects he was working on. Melissa is incredibly excited about this opportunity, to say the least, and has a blog to thank for helping to get herself noticed. (Ahem! I'm still waiting for my commission check, by the way, Melissa. Haha!)

Jeff bob

Studio Seven - Metin Seven

Design Inspiration

 

Metin speaks:

What started you into blogging? What were your objectives?

Well, about a zillion people already maintain a blog, so actually starting my own blog had become a bit of a hackneyed initiative to me. But from a commercial point of view it was an attractive way to expand my publicity. And once I started I got to enjoy it.

How did you gravitate to 3d artwork?

My early computer graphics adventures comprised the creation of 2D graphics for commercial computer games. My style evolved until the elements I pixeled looked very 3D, so the bridge to real 3D graphics had become very small. Furthermore, the challenge of developing 3D graphics is much more comprehensive than the 2D techniques I had mastered in the course of years.

Have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate since you've had the responsibility of a blog?

Not significantly. I was already used to posting my work at several different art forums. My blog became one more way to exhibit my work.

What has your response from the public and other Illustrators and designers been?

The response is truly rewarding. The comments I receive as a result of frequently posting my work are very motivating and sometimes even heart-warming. It really makes the blog worthwhile to maintain.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators?

Don't babble too much about your work. Let it speak for itself. The internet public has become used to short bursts of textual information and a lot of visual feedback. Most people's attention span is limited and they tend to become bored relatively fast.

Do you have a favourite blogging Illustrator or 3D Designer?

Definitely. I'm a fan of my good friend Pieter Hogenbirk, a 2D illustrator from the Netherlands, located not far away from where I live. You can find his blog at cARToony's blog. Although it is written in the Dutch language, be sure to check it out. He's a maestro.

Linzie Hunter

Linzie Hunter - by Linzie Hunter

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Linzie Hunter

 

Linzie speaks:

What started you into blogging?

I wanted an efficient way to update and archive my news page, and using a blog seemed the easiest way to do that. I post site updates, new work and illustration projects. I tend not to write too much text and generally keep it design based. Initially, I hadn't ever considered it as a forum for visitors to leave feedback, but its very nice when they do.

Now you have a blog, have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate?

Not a huge difference, but I tend to update on a more regular basis now, at least once a week rather than once a month! I also find that I might post sketches or quick images that might never have seen the light of day otherwise - experiments or images that might not make into my formal portfolio.

I noticed you were featured on Netdiver, other than that (congrats!), what has the response from the public and other illustrators been?

Netdiver is a great portal and I'm really delighted to be in such good company. Overall, the feedback has been very positive and supportive. I'm always touched when someone takes the time to email or leave a message about my work and am equally surprised and flattered when my website is mentioned or linked elsewhere.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators, or Illustrators planning on creating a blog?

Think about the purpose and your audience and blog accordingly. If its part of your professional portfolio site to attract clients, then its probably not the best place to discuss your nervous breakdown or marital problems. If you want to naval gaze, perhaps host it somewhere else, under a pseudonym?

Who do you consider to be the top blogging illustrator?

I dip in and out of a lot of illustrators journals and general design blogs. I regularly visit Leif Peng's tribute to vintage illustrators. Everyday he to posts an illustration from his archives. That takes passion and commitment!

Etic Sturdevant

Fun All Around by Eric Sturdevant

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Fun All Around

 

Eric speaks:

I've been admiring how your blog has shaped up. Do you have theme schedule you stick to?

The only theme I have is to post work that interests and inspires me. While I've mostly posted works from the mid-century era, I want to eventually expand to include current artists that I like that may or may not get a lot of recognition. There will also be the occasional personal piece, such as the ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY stuff.

What has the response from the public and other Illustrators been?

The response has been very positive. I still can't believe that people from over 30 countries have visited the blog. There has been a lot of interest from other illustrators and artists over the mid 20th century children's book illustration that I've focused on. It's more than just simple nostalgia, I think. There is a feeling of finding buried treasure with these old, largely forgotten illustrators.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators, or those planning on creating a blog?

Just have fun with it.

Who do you feel is one of the unsung heroes of Illustration today?

Steven Weissman is one of my favorite comic book artists/illustrators. His comics have a profound understanding of the absurd world of children, and are told with a droll and dark sense of humor. He has a blog called CHEWING GUM IN CHURCH and his comics are published by FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS. Also, his free weekly online comic YIKES can be seen on the FANTAGRAPHICS web site.

Jared Chapman

My Little Crockpot by Jared Chapman

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Sparth Construct

 

Jared speaks:

What started you into the blogging adventure?

Believe it or not, but I started My Little Crockpot exactly two years ago today. It seems like it was a lot longer ago than that. Originally, I started my blog as sort of a journal for my own ramblings as well as to keep up with the latest animated news. My own ramblings quickly faded for the most part, but over the next year or so, I kept posting animation and art links as well as my own doodles. In the last ten months my blog has really become more of an art blog, where I post recent sketches and illustrations. Looking back, it's really strange to see the metamorphosis My Little Crockpot has undergone.

Have you noticed a change in how you work and communicate now that you contribute to the blogging community?

In some ways, I would say yes. Sometimes, after several days of silence on MLC, I'll be in the truck driving somewhere and think "You know. I should post to the blog". Overall though, blogging hasn't really changed the way I work or think. For the most part, everything I do, when it comes to illustration, is never done with the blog in mind.

What has the response from the public, other Illustrators and your friends been?

They have all been overwhelmingly kind! Never in a million years would I have ever imagined all the nice comments that other people have left on MLC. This blog has acted almost like a forum at times, introducing me to all sorts of talented people. It is really exciting when I think about it.

What advice do you give blogging Illustrators, or those planning on blogging?

Blog what interests you. It's as simple as that.

johanna k by Johanna Kindvall

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johanna k

 

Johanna speaks:

Your illustrations are so whimsical, I especially enjoy your cooking blog, kokblog. As a former Social Worker, now Architect, have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a full time Illustrator?

I have always enjoyed doing different things. When I work with architecture it nearly always takes time before you will see any physical results. With my illustrations I see the result quickly and that's a nice contrast. Recently, I've been getting some commissions for illustrations and enjoy that.

How did you settle on the theme for your blog, was it a difficult decision?

The johanna k blog I started mostly because I needed something to get me to draw more. I wanted it as simple as possible and I guess that's why this blog is quite anonymous. The kokblog, which I started short after, was actually an old idea I had about stories, recipes and illustrations. While working on the johanna k blog on Blogger, I realize that blogging software was perfect for the idea and by choosing Wordpress instead of Blogger I could also easily make different categories for the different recipes.  

What has the response from the public, other Illustrators, or even Architects been?

It's always great to hear what people like about my work and I am amazed how quickly you get a response to your work if you have a blog. I have got most responses on my kokblog, perhaps because cooking is a social activity. My combination of stories, recipes and illustrations has become very popular.

What advice do you give to those planning on jumping into blogging?

If you have something that's really interests you or just a great idea that seems unique, give it a try! There are many blogging tools out there and give yourself time to find what's best for you. Something I don't always have is time to make the posts, and I think to be a really successful blogger you have to have time to post regularly.

Are there other blogging Architects who've gone the route you have?

I have no idea or maybe it's just because I have not found anyone yet. Anyway, every day I go thru my feeds on bloglines that are about architecture, art, design and food etc.

© Copyright 2006 Catherine Wentworth

  About the author/editor  
   
 

Catherine (cat) Wentworth is the Project Manager of Creative Latitude, as well as one of the founding members.

Along with 20 other dedicated designers, Cat helped to create the exciting campaign, NO!SPEC.

URL:
www.katzidesign.com

Email:
Cat

 
   
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